Fury Road (In Praise of Wendi Wright)

He was trying to kill them, American Style, all smiles and handshakes

Nicholas Powers May 31, 2017

She nearly ran him off the road, cursing

at reckless speed, headlights bearing down on him

like the angry eyes of God.


Panicked, Republican David Kustoff asked

his assistant to look and there’s Wendi, wild

wind licking her hair like fire; they tried

to lose her, yanking the car as wheels spat

dirt from the roadside. David veered like he

talked. This way and that. A man people

found hard to follow, as he explained, repeatedly

the wisdom of cutting money from health care.


No. No. No. Wendi rose thinking

of her daughter, a small brown girl, born sick,

who needs treatment, she can’t afford and this fucking guy

trying to kill her, American style — all smiles and handshakes.


Following him from the parking lot, she gunned it,

eyes feral, as if chasing a murderer fleeing

a crime scene, two cars speeding on the road,

until he skidded to a stop in a friend’s driveway.


A day later, she’s on the news, a mother’s mugshot,

scared, defiant while charged with reckless

endangerment. In the same article, another photo —

long before the chase, Wendi smiles as her daughter

rides piggyback, laughing as she holds on

for dear life.


Photo: Wendi Wright. Source: Weakley County Sheriff’s Department.

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